- Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
- Mature Height 2 - 4 Feet
- Mature Spread 2 - 4 Feet
- Growing Zones 2 - 8
Sweetfern, or Comptonia peregrina, is a small aromatic perennial known for the elaborate patterns of its deep green, textured fronds. Every spring, Sweetfern sends out an army of sweet-smelling fiddleheads, which unfurl from their snug coils of delicate olive green foliage. The flowers are brown to burgundy catkins that appear before the leaves unfold. A small nut is enfolded within. With an impressive spread of 4 to 8 feet, the Sweetfern is between 2 and 4 feet tall.
Native to the eastern North America, the low-growing Sweetfern has a mounding, upright habit that is excellent for groundcover. They are low-maintenance, vigorous growers that are drought tolerant and tenacious. They colonize quickly by forming spores on the surface of the fronds. It is a host plant for the Gray Hairstreak butterfly, as well as a wide variety of moths. It is deer and critter resistant.
Plant your Sweetfern in full to partial sunlight. It uses average water. Sweetfern prefers moist, sandy soil with good drainage, but once established, it can survive in dry, sandy conditions. To keep the soil moist and cool, add a generous layer of mulch to your Sweetfern. Additionally, each year, you can apply well-rotted manure or compost to your ferns. However, concentrated fertilizer should not be applied, as it can burn the surface roots of your plants. If your Sweetfern is potted, use a controlled-release fertilizer option.
To prune your Sweetfern, cut off any misshapen or broken fronds. This can be done at any time of year. If you live in a colder area, leave the spent foliage attached to the plant throughout the winter to protect its crown, and instead, remove them when spring bulbs emerge.
The Sweetfern is an excellent option for providing a hardy groundcover. They are best planted en masse and can thrive in moist and shady areas. You should space your Sweetfern at least 3 feet apart from center to center to give them plenty of room to grow.
|USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 - 8
|Plant Type: Bushes
|Light Exposure: Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
|Mature Height: 2 - 4 Feet
|Mature Spread: 4 - 8 Feet
|Spacing: 4 - 8 Feet
|Habit: Spreading, Trailing, Upright
|Flower Color(s): Yellow
|Foliage Type: Deciduous
|Foliage Color(s): Green
|Seasonal Interest: Spring Flowering, Summer Flowering, Fall Flowering
|Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
|Uses: Groundcovers, Mass Planting, Wildlife Gardens
|Features: Attracts Pollinators, Foliage Interest, Fragrant, Low Maintenance, Native to North America
|Common Name: Sweetfern
|Scientific Name: COMPTONIA PEREGRINA
Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.
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Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)
Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)
Standard Colors: 2-3 business days
Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice
Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations
Time of Order:
- If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.
- We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location
Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.
It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.